It was a wild and blustery start to the clam season at Poole Harbour last week, with just 15 of the 45 eligible boats braving the weather to fish for the species for the first time since the fishery closed last December. The vessels made an early start, and were back alongside by lunchtime.

“Normally the first week is the worst of the year,” said clam fisher Mike Bailey, one of the 45 permit holders at the MSC-certified clam and cockle fishery. He appeared happy with his 170kg haul brought in on his vessel Karen-Rose, joking: “Of course it depends on the price!”

The Southern IFCA’s patrol boat was out ensuring that all regulations were being met on the first day of the season – especially those relating to clam size.

Poole Harbour was previously exploited by illegal fishing, but this has been largely stamped out due to the introduction of a permit byelaw in 2015. The fishery has been MSC-certified since 2018, and will start the assessment process for recertification this September.

Fishing News will carry full details of the fishery and accreditation process in a future issue.

This story was taken from the latest issue of Fishing News. For more up-to-date and in-depth reports on the UK and Irish commercial fishing sector, subscribe to Fishing News here or buy the latest single issue for just £3.30 here

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